June 7, 2019
The Cato Institute here in Washington, D.C. recently sponsored a discussion of trade and economic development, emphasizing the role that robust trade has in raising living standard in developing nations.
May 31, 2019
Things have been moving quickly on President Trump’s top legislative priority, the NAFTA/USMCA trade agreement. The key was rescinding steel and aluminum tariffs against Canada and Mexico. On Wednesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau moved to introduce the agreement to Canada’s legislature for ratification, prompting a Thursday visit from Vice President Mike Pence. Also on Thursday, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO for short) introduced NAFTA/USMCA in Mexico’s Senate.
May 22, 2019
Large U.S. companies slowed their investment in the first quarter of 2019, largely because of ongoing trade tensions between the U.S. and China. This is exactly what free-trade economics suggested would happen. When costs increase because of tariffs and uncertainty shadows the direction of trade policy, companies delay investment.
May 17, 2019
The Trump administration is mostly lifting its steel aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico, effective 48 hours from today’s announcement. But metal tariffs will remain higher than they were just 14 months ago. They have raised consumer prices for cars, housing, and washing machines, while preventing passage of President Trump's signature revised NAFTA/USMCA trade agreement. Even now, passage is not guaranteed.
May 15, 2019
Boeing, fresh off a victory in restoring the Export-Import Bank’s full lending authority, is floating the idea of a 100 percent tariff on Airbus aircraft and parts. Airbus is Boeing’s largest competitor. There are four factors in play here. The first three are public relations, the opportunity costs of cronyism, and how best to pursue a level playing field in the global economy. The fourth is the likely retaliation such a move would spark.
May 14, 2019
If President Trump’s trade war has a single takeaway, it is this: Raising tariffs is an ineffective bargaining strategy. When the U.S. raises its tariffs, other countries always retaliate, and always become less cooperative.
May 10, 2019
On May 7th in Finland, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo participated in the eleventh Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council. The meeting “ended without a formal agreement after the United States refused to allow language on climate change to be included” (E&E News, May 7th, 2019).
May 6, 2019
On Sunday, President Trump announced via Twitter that if he does not approve of the results of this week’s U.S.-China trade talks, he will enact a new tariff on Friday, May 10th. It would raise a current 10 percent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25 percent. He threatened a similar tariff late last year, but backed off. China, in response, might withdraw from the talks altogether.
May 3, 2019
Next week the Senate is expected to vote on new board members for the Export-Import Bank, which gives favorable financing terms to foreign governments and businesses when they buy U.S. products. Ex-Im’s charter expires on September 30. If Congress does not reauthorize it, Ex-Im would close its doors to new projects, wind down its portfolio, and then disappear entirely.
April 5, 2019
If you have ever wondered whether Democratic leaders understand the U.S. Constitution when they bash President Trump for allegedly violating it, or just use “unconstitutional” as a mantra for opposing policies (or 2016 election winners) they don’t like, ponder no further. H.R. 9, the “Climate Action Now Act,” exposes House leaders as faux guardians of America’s basic charter of government.